It takes an act of courage
to take your shoes and socks off
to slip out of sandals
to let another human being
touch a part of you that may not be pretty.
Baby feet are sweet and soft, and
mamas kiss them and count toes and
hold those tiny sweet soft feet
when they are cold and
splash bath water over them and
hear baby laughter.
Big feet are rough and calloused,
some with corns, some misshapen, from
years of being on them.
Waiting tables or farming or
wearing cheap shoes or
pushing feet into fashions that are
unkind to human beings.
So it is hard to bare your rough,
misshapen feet to another’s touch.
Jesus washed feet.
One night, he became a slave during dinner.
He picked up a towel.
Took a basin and water pitcher and
began to go slowly around a table
to wash his disciples’ feet.
Feet that were rough.
Misshapen. Dusty from a day’s travel.
Feet that had walked roads with him
for three years.
Feet of people he loved.
Feet of people he needed to touch
one last time.
When Jesus was a baby,
Mary must have kissed his feet
all tiny and sweet and soft and
she counted toes and
heard baby laughter as she
poured water over them.
of people he loves.
One by one. Slowly. Lovingly.
Maybe he washes his own mother’s
feet—I like to think so.
Yet no one washes Jesus’ feet this night.
Soon, those dusty bare feet
will feel the hard dirt of a prison cell.
The cold stone of Pilate’s pavement.
The stones of Jerusalem’s city streets.
Soon, Jesus’ feet will be pushed together.
The last time anyone touches him,
it will be with rough hands.
Rough hands will savagely drive a spike through Jesus’ feet.
No one washes Jesus’ feet this night.
For what his feet will soon endure,
will I let him wash mine?
Will you let me wash yours?
© The Rev. Sheila N. McJilton
Pictures accessed through Google images